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When it comes to selecting your next BJJ GI you need to understand the different types of weaves used and what their pros and cons are. When choosing your next BJJ GI you first need to decide what you want from the GI. Do you want a GI that will be durable and last a long time? Do you want it to compete in? Is comfort a deciding factor? Once you know what you want from your next BJJ GI choosing the right weave will be made a whole lot easier.
Single weave GI’s are often the choice of many people starting out in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. They are normally cheap in price, readily available and light in weight. The shrinkage with single weaves is normally pretty good due to the closeness of the weave. So expect shrinkage to be around 5%. A couple of downsides are that they are thin and not as durable as some of the other weaves available and they are easy to manipulate for grips and chokes when live sparring. All in all single weave GI’s are a good purchase for someone starting out or someone who wants a second BJJ GI for hot summer months or for competing in.
Double weave BJJ GI’s used to be the top choice for fighters in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. They offer strength and durability. Some fighters prefer them because the thickness can make it harder for their opponent to grab and gain dominant grips or manipulate for chokes and submissions. Due to the tightness of the weave shrinkage is nearly nonexistent. But double weaves are not as popular as they once were. Their extra weight can become uncomfortable during long training sessions, their very hot in warm climates or in summer months and due to their thickness they can restrict your movement. Not many GI manufacturers still produce double weaves but the ones that do charge a lot of money for them. in my opinion the cons well outweigh the pros.
Gold weaves are a cross between single weaves and double weaves. They offer the strength and durability of the double weave with some of the lightness and comfort of a single weave. For a long time gold weave GI’s where literally the gold standard in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu GI’s. With the gold weave being so popular nearly every major BJJ GI company offers a gold weave model and normally at very competitive prices. One major downside is shrinkage. Because the weave is not as tight as a single or double weave there is a lot more room for the GI to shrink. The shrinkage is normally at least 5-10% with some shrinking more than that. It’s sometimes advisable to get a size bigger than you would normally get.
If gold weaves are the gold standard the pearl weave are the diamond standard. They literally offer the strength and durability of a double weave, the comfort of a gold weave and the lightness of a single weave. The material is thin but the weave is so tight that it maintains the strength. Pearl weaves are the choice of most people for fighting in competitions. Because the material is so thin, it makes them a lot lighter than other types of GI’s. This can be an advantage when you are cutting weight or close to your weight limit in a competition. One other plus side to the weave being so tight is that shrinkage is very minimal normally between 0-5%. Some companies offer pre shrunk GI’s that they claim will not shrink one bit. Many manufacturers offer their own special type of weave especially with their ultra light BJJ GI’s. Their “special” weaves are normally their own type of pearl weave but they are still a pearl weave. In my opinion pearl weave Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi’s are the best by far and if you can afford one it should be your Gi of choice due to it having all the best attributes of the other Gi’s and none of the downsides.
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